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Friday, August 17, 2012

Oregon Americana

I recently got back in touch with a great friend from my days at Oregon State University.  We'd done a decent job of staying in touch over the past twelve years, even having a fantastic week-long Alaskan adventure a few years back.  My eventual move to Germany, however, made it harder and harder to keep up with the goings on of each other.  However, with the marvels of modern technology, we finally did make contact again via Skype a few weeks ago.  It felt so good catching up with a friend who I respect and value so much.  Those types of friends are hard to come by in life, especially when one gets older and moves around as much as I do.  It's nice to know, even if we haven't spoken in two years, that certain people will always be there for you, ready to offer advice, discuss problems and solutions, and just shoot the shit and talk about old times - as if you'd just spoken a few days earlier.

I remember taking a trip with Isaac, and his girlfriend at the time, to Silver Falls State Park on a beautiful sunny summer day back in 1999.  At the time, I was all about hiking, biking, skiing, and climbing.  The only camera I had at the time was some point and shoot 35mm piece of garbage where half of the pictures would come out black or double exposed.  Isaac was the flip side of that coin.  He loved photography - and he was great at it - with an eye for capturing a scene that not many people have.  I remember becoming annoyed with Isaac on the way to Silver Falls because he kept wanting to stop and take photos.  I just wanted to get up in to the woods!  "Don't you have enough pictures of that damn bird's nest!", I would yell out the window.  

It's funny how things change over time.  Something I once had absolutely no interest in has become one of the loves of my life.  I love taking photos.  I love working with photos.  I love creating the travel posters I do with the photos I take.  Most of all, I like sharing my photos and art with others, because there usually is an interesting story behind most pieces.

Because of my current medical state (bad back and totally out-of-whack IS joint), I am not able to get out and travel, let alone take many photos.  I do have over a years worth of backlogged photos to still work with, and I look forward to doing so when my back and body allows.  One thing I am very open to, though, is using other's photos (with permission, of course) to create new posters, most likely of places I haven't been or at least can't get to currently.  The below image is such a photo, taken by my friend Isaac in Eastern Oregon.  I really like the serenity of this scene.  It reminds me of my summers growing up in SW Oregon, exploring the hills and forests around my local area.  I look at the picture below and I can hear the grasshoppers and crickets chirping away and can imagine my childhood friends and I racing down the grass-covered slope, injuries be damned, on pieces of tattered cardboard.

I really hope to be able to work with more of Isaac's photos in the future.  For now, I'll just say, thanks for letting me use this one, Isaac.  Great catching up with you buddy.

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